Posted on 10. Oct, 2007 by in Money

Because even journalists need to eat.

This session features:

Jeff Burkett of Began from a series of blog posts Burkett wrote addressing the question of how to place advertiser’s content that doesn’t fit on the paper or website of a traditional news organization with its emphasis on reporting timely news. The Blogroll program that Burkett created matches ads with content produced by bloggers who write about every niche under the sun. “The thought is – we need them because they provide quality specific content that our advertisers want and they benefit from increased exposure, so it would be a win win situation,” says Burkett.

Rick Waghorn of My Football Writer: Putting locally-sourced and respected sports reports in the palm of everyone’s hand, whilst at the same time giving local advertisers the chance to put their brand in front of their neighborhood audience. So far MyFootballWriter is sustainable, “at least that’s why my latest accountants forecast tells me,” says Waghorn.

Henry Copeland of BlogAds: We’re the blog advertising specialists. We pioneered blog advertising in 2002 and trail-blaze today.

Stephen Smyth of Reuters: Leads Reuters consumer mobile and emerging media businesses, and is responsible for maximising revenues and brand value from the company’s presence on these platforms.

As Oprah: Saul Hansell of Bits Blog at Insights and discoveries about technology from Times reporters in Silicon Valley and beyond.

9:56 Hansell: “How will all this get paid for when we don’t know what the econmics of journalism will be? ”

9:57 Waghorn: Spent 14 years as newspaper football (that’s soccer to all you Yanks) reporter in Norwhich.” The paper built my brand. Do I need to be involved with a bigger brand or can I leave and bring my football following with me?”

10:01 It isn’t all about the clicks. “For a month, for 150 quid, you can get a banner ad.”

10:02 Made 70,000 in first year.

10:02 After being made redundant, paper no placing ads on

10:03 On to Burkett and Washington Post Newsweek Ineractice.

10:04 “We haven’t yet gotten to the point where we’re directing traffic back to them [the bloggers].”

10:05 Stephen Smyth and Reuters. “It’s almost impossible to sell brand advertising. Many of the sites were so small that we didn’t even know what their demographics were.”

10:07 Explaining Reuters partnerships, though very difficult to hear. Explaining that, like the Washington Post, they’re to create a network which will generate that will revenue for everyone, big and small.

10:10 Copeland and Blog Ads: “I can’t guarantee that you’ll make a living at it.” Leads with a joke: “My wife thought a blog was British euphimism for a toilet.” Commetn from the audience: “His joke tanked.”

10:11 “Dozens of bloggers are making money off it. I wouldn’t say hundreds.” Ouch.

10:12 Now the good stuff. Arguments about how to make money. Waghorn – Clicks ads don’t work. “Nobody buys car insurance when they’re reading a football site.” Local advertisers want to see ads.

10:14 Is anyone making money off of Google ads? A few hands go up. One audience member explains he has to tell Google which ads to post.

10:16 Hansell in summary: There’s no place like home. It helps to reach local advertisers.

10:18 Bloggers v. User Generated Content. Copeland: You can’t control comments. That’s the sandbox where people go nuts. Blogging is me expressing my opinion.

10:20 From the audience: Advocating for non-sustainable business models. “Some percentage of bloggers are not looking to be sustainable with income.” Burkett responds: Few people want to work for no money. They want to be discovered.

10:22 Lighting round begins. Question To Copeland: The type of bloggers that get ads have no comments. Doesn’t that get away from the early promise of the medium? Answer: People do good journalism and get noticed for it.

10:24 Question from Jay Rosen: Shouldn’t we be looking for new revenue streams aside from advertising? The Answer: Another question: How?

Burkett: Rates on blog network are close to, but still lower than, ad rates on the Washsington Post, etc. The only way to survive is to be part of a network that can sell advertising on a thousand blogs to an advertiser.

Question from Henry Abbot (?): Do video ads work? Answer: Not for MyFootballWriter. Consensus: Not sure yet.

Question: Is journalism worth anything? How do you produce journalism that you can sell?

In summary: We end where we begin. It’s all a work in progress.

One Response to “Revenue”

  1. Ryan Sholin

    10. Oct, 2007

    “Because even journalists need to eat.”

    Really? Jay referenced Doc’s point that passionate bloggers are not necessarily in this for direct payment, via ads or any other revenue model.

    The real payoff for bloggers is often measured in reputation and raising their profile, which can lead, yes, to jobs, work, and paychecks.